Pumpkin and Apple Samhain Soup – A seasonal recipe from the archives!
More commonly known as ‘Halloween’ or ‘Hallows Eve’, October 31 is Samhain, a date that in the sacred calendar represents Summer’s end and the beginning of Winter, the end and beginning of the Celtic year. Samhain is said to be a magical time, when the veil between the material and spiritual world is at its thinnest, and a time for communication with our ancestors. It’s also a time for celebrating the harvest of the previous season, and when squashes and pumpkins in particular are in abundance, so it’s great to carve them with the kids (mine decided to make a Karl Pilkington face as you can see!). But did you know that every year an estimated 18,000 tonnes of discarded carved pumpkin flesh is thrown into rubbish bins in the UK alone? It seems that many people just don’t know what to do with it, or don’t realise that it’s a tasty and nutritious food source. So here’s one seasonal recipe from the Spiralseed archive that turns this food waste problem into a solution!
Readers of The Vegan Book of Permaculture have probably realised that I don’t tend to use recipe books that much apart from as a source of inspiration and ideas. Instead I prefer to experiment with ingredients and techniques, and, provided a broad pattern is followed of figuring out what things are likely to go together, just see what I come up with. It’s a way of preparing meals that has always worked for me, so feel free to adapt and improvise this and any other recipe according to your own tastes, preferences, and what you happen to have in the house, I won’t mind…
This hearty and spicy autumn soup was very popular at the Burnett household dinner table last Samhain. It was put together using seasonal produce and bits and pieces found in the cupboard. The pumpkin was from the allotment, not sure of the variety, it was grown from seed bought in a local high street ‘Pound Shop’, and I’m afraid I lost the packet. It was carved out to make a Halloween/Samhain lantern, and this was a way of using up the left over flesh that was scooped out. The apple was a Bramley, harvested from my this year somewhat neglected forest garden.
1 medium sized pumpkin
2 large carrots
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 medium size sweet potato
1 large cooking apple
1 small chilli
1 large tablespoon wholemeal peanut butter
half tube tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
Chop sweet potato and pumpkin flesh into chunks, slice carrot, onion pepper and gently fry in olive oil in a heavy pan. Add a mug or so of hot water and leave to simmer for a few minutes until vegetables are starting to soften. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, chopped chilli. Cut up apple (discard the core but don’t bother peeling) and add to pan. Stir in a generous tablespoon of peanut butter and maybe a splash of soy sauce (not too much though). Add a pint or two of boiling water and leave to simmer on a gentle heat for 20 minutes or so until all ingredients are soft. Transfer to a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Return to pan a continue to simmer for a few minutes before serving. If it’s too thick add a little hot water, if too thin add more peanut butter, or maybe a tablespoon of cornflour made into a paste in a little cold water. Serve with fresh bread, and a good portion of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins to get you in the Samhain mood…
Lots more seasonal recipes can be found in The Vegan Book of Permaculture by Graham Burnett – order your SIGNED copy today and get a bonus free copy of ‘The Ecology of the Self – Zone Zero Zero Permaculture Design Notes’, or buy it together with ‘Permaculture A Beginner’s Guide’ plus extra booklets for the special price of just £21!